The US Government intends to provide around $122 million (£97m) to establish innovation centres for coal products in the country.
They will focus on manufacturing “value-added, carbon-based” products from coal, as well as developing new methods to extract and process rare earth elements and critical minerals from coal.
The Department of Energy (DOE) will provide the funding through a competitive process, with new and existing coalitions of private industry, academia, national laboratories and state and local governments encouraged to compete.
The DOE says the innovation centres will research and incubate mining, processing and purification technologies that are environmentally sustainable.
Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette adds: “It’s vitally important that America develop a viable domestic supply of rare earth elements, critical minerals and other valuable products from our vast coal resources. This effort moves us closer to that goal.
“The Trump Administration has been aggressively investing in research and development for novel uses of coal that have the potential to create new markets for coal and coal by-products. Sustaining domestic coal production creates new economic opportunity for coal state economies and benefits the nation.”